While buying and using carrier oils for your skin is a wonderful practice that can dramatically improve the overall quality of your skin, one thing you do need to think about is making sure your oils don’t go bad. In the case of plant oils, this is called going rancid, and once that’s happened to an oil, you definitely don’t want to put it on your skin. Some oils, however, are more stable than others, and as long as you take very minor precautions to preserve their freshness, you don’t need to worry about them going off. So what about Shea butter? Can it go rancid, and if so, what can you do to keep it from going bad?
One of the benefits of using raw Shea butter as your skincare is that it is a very stable oil, and one of the reasons for this is all of the naturallyy occurring antioxidants it carries. While those antioxidants help to keep your skin young and fresh, they also help to prevent it from going rancid because they act as natural preservatives within the butter. This is great if you're using it as a base for your own skincare products, or even using it straight-- due to the longer shelf life than more delicate oils like walnut or grapeseed.
If Stored Correctly, Shea Butter is Pretty Stable!
While some essential fatty acids are more sensitive and easily disrupted by things like light and heat, Shea butter has a higher percentage of the more stable saturated EFAs, putting it in the same category as other oils like cocoa and coconut. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything to help preserve the quality and life span of your product. To maintain optimal freshness, keep it away from direct sunlight, since no matter the natural stability of an oil, sunlight does start to oxidize it. Also, keep water out of the jar, since the stagnant fluid will encourage the butter to go off. It also goes without saying that you should only scoop the product out with clean hands or a spoon!
Do I need to Refrigerate My Shea Butter Skincare Products?
You can keep your products in the fridge if you’d like, but it is not necessary.
Other than these simple steps to maintain the natural integrity of your Shea butter, the keeping of this versatile and nourishing plant oil is a cinch! Plus, applying such a stable oil onto your skin also encourages and strengthens the natural stability and balance of your own complexion.
If you're interested in the experiencing the healing properties of shea butter for yourself, try our popular and versatile Raw Shea Dermal Repair cream